Regional coroner, Matt Brown, has released the names of the victims involved in the deadly crash on Saturday, August 4, on the Youbou Highway at the Neva Road intersection at approximately 8:40 p.m.
The driver of the motorcycle was 60-year-old Arthur Randy Bernard of Chemainus. Bernard’s motorcycle struck and killed 48-year-old Sandra Dempsey, also known as Sandra Engstrom, as she crossed the Youbou Highway with a friends dog at Neva Road.
According to Brown, both died of multiple trauma. Speed and alcohol are not ruled out as factors, but toxicology tests are yet to be performed and it could take as long as six weeks before results are known.
Lake Cowichan RCMP Cpl. Krista Hobday says that a collision analyst is still working on the details of how the incident occurred, “but not of that information is available to us at this time.”
A make-shift memorial has be set up along the side of the road at the site of the incident, and support continues to pour in to Atkinson’s Facebook page as he deals with the tragedy.
According to this same page, funeral costs are being covered by the Ministry of Social Development, and Atkinson is starting to feel like he is, “feeling better now” and is “back to the grind.”
Small crowds of concerned neighbours gathered on both sides of Youbou Highway on the night of the incident as Lake Cowichan RCMP, Fire Department, and B.C Ambulance responded to the scene. Paramedics tried to resuscitate the driver of the motorcycle and his passenger. Both were taken to Cowichan District Hospital and the passenger was released with non life-threatening injuries.
The Youbou Highway was blocked off from Indian Road to the intersection with Highway 18 for several hours, and police along with the collision analyst were on the scene until approximately 3 a.m., according to Lake Cowichan RCMP Const. Preston.
Residents trying to return home to the north side of Neva Road were asked to leave their vehicles on the south side and walk home. Const. Preston took the names and phone numbers of many so he could inform them of when they could retrieve their vehicles.